One of the rare sightings nature provides is the occurrence of albino animals, like this green sea turtle that’s almost completely white.
An Australian environmental volunteer group was doing a survey on a nest of green sea turtles at Castaways Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. To their shock, this albino offspring was found lagging behind its already-departed siblings.
No more than five centimeters across its shell, the young turtle was nicknamed ‘Alby’ by the volunteer group, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care.
“It looked like a normal turtle hatchling, except that it had a white shell and it had little white flippers, and you could see a little bit of pink under its flippers,” said the group’s President Linda Warneminde. “None of us had ever experienced or seen anything like that before, so we were all a little bit taken aback.”
Even more surprising, the other eggs in the nest where Alby was found were known to have hatched two days prior, and the tiny albino turtle was only discovered due to the need todig up the nest and count egg shells for data collection purposes.
Though it’s an incredible sight to see, an albino green sea turtle doesn’t exactly have good chances to make it to adulthood. Under normal circumstances, one in 1,000 baby green sea turtles make it to maturity. With an abnormality that doesn’t exactly help in the way of camouflage, Alby may be in store for a tough run.
“Albino hatchlings are extremely rare; it probably occurs at the rate of one in many hundreds of thousands of eggs that are laid,” Dr. Col Limpus, the Queensland’s Government’s Threatened Species Unit chief scientist, told ABC News.